Tuesday, October 25th, I turned 63 years old. No big deal. Except for the realization in my head that I am now the age my father was when he died back in May of 1989. My dad, Darrell Elmer Rodgers Sr., a.k.a “Pinky”, had smoked all his life and probably ate all the wrong things as well. Both of those factors likely contributed to his heart and arterial disease that eventually took his life by way of an aortic aneurysm that could not be repaired in the operating room. His aorta was too brittle. He died on the operating table.
Now I have no problem enjoying a longer life than he did. I hope that my avoidance of tobacco through the decades will help me, and am counting on genes from my mom’s side to prevail (she’s now almost 91).
What’s giving me pause is some “internal talk” in the back of my mind about not having a life map anymore. My father has been my mind-embedded example of how to be man, how be a dad, and how to grow older. Well, I hope I’ve learned the first two lessons well enough, but that last one, growing older, is going to be more of an On-The-Job training exercise from this point forward.
Of course, there are others dear to me leading the way, from whom I am also learning. Still, there’s something uneasy about venturing into the unknown future without my most-trusted map. And there’s probably a song in there too.